MARGOSA, s. A name in the S. of India and Ceylon for the Nim (see NEEM) tree. The word is a corruption of Port. amargosa, ‘bitter,’ indicating the character of the tree. This gives rise to an old Indian proverb, traceable as far back as the Jatakas, that you cannot sweeten the nim tree though you water it with syrup and ghee (Naturam expellas furcâ, &c.).

1727.—“The wealth of an evil man shall another evil man take from him, just as the crows come and eat the fruit of the margoise tree as soon as it is ripe.”—Apophthegms translated in Valentijn, v. (Ceylon) 390.

1782.—“… ils lavent le malade avec de l’eau froide, ensuite ils le frottent rudement avec de la feuille de Margosier.”— Sonnerat, i. 208.

1834.—“Adjacent to the Church stand a number of tamarind and margosa trees.”— Chitty, Ceylon Gazetteer, 183.

MARKHORE, s. Pers. mar-khor, ‘snake-eater.’ A fine wild goat of the Western Himalaya; Capra megaceros, Hutton.

[1851.—“Hence the people of the country call it the Markhor (eater of serpents).”— Edwardes, A Year on the Punjab Frontier, i. 474.

[1895.—“Never more would he chase the ibex and makor.”—Mrs. Croker, Village Tales, 112.]

MARTABAN, n.p. This is the conventional name, long used by all the trading nations, Asiatic and European, for a port on the east of the Irawadi Delta and of the Sitang estuary, formerly of great trade, but now in comparative decay. The original name is Talaing, Mut-ta-man, the meaning of which we have been unable to ascertain.

1514.—“… passed then before Martaman, the people also heathens; men expert in everything, and first - rate merchants; great masters of accounts, and in fact the greatest in the world. They keep their accounts in books like us. In the said country is great produce of lac, cloths, and provisions.”—Letter of Giov. da Empoli, p. 80.

1545.—“At the end of these two days the King … caused the Captains that were at the Guard of the Gates to leave them and retire; whereupon the miserable City of Martabano was delivered to the mercy of the Souldiers … and therein showed themselves so cruel-minded, that the thing they made least reckoning of was to kill 100 men for a crown.”—Pinto, in Cogan, 203.

1553.—“And the towns which stand outside this gulf of the Isles of Pegu (of which we have spoken) and are placed along the coast of that country, are Vagara, Martaban, a city notable in the great trade that it enjoys, and further on Rey, Talaga, and Tavay.”—Barros, I. ix. 1.

1568.—“Trouassimo nella città di Martauan intorno a nouanta Portoghesi, tra mercadanti e huomini vagabondi, li quali stauano in gran differenza co’ Rettorì della città.”—Ces. Federici, in Ramusio, iii. 393.

1586.—“The city of Martaban hath its front to the south-east, south, and south-west, and stands on a river which there enters the sea … it is a city of Mauparagia, a Prince of the King of Pegu’s.”— Gasparo Balbi, f. 129v, 130v.

1680.—“That the English may settle ffactorys at Serian, Pegu, and Ava … and alsoe that they may settle a ffactory in like manner at Mortavan.…”—Articles to be proposed to the King of Barma and Pegu in Notes and Exts., No. iii. p. 8.

1695.—“Concerning Bartholomew Rodrigues.… I am informed and do believe he put into Mortavan for want of wood and water, and was there seized by the King’s officers, because not bound to that Place.” —Governor Higginson, in Dalrymple, Or. Repert. ii. 342-3.

MARTABAN, s. This name was given to vessels of a peculiar pottery, of very large size, and glazed, which were famous all over the East for many centuries, and were exported from Martaban. They were sometimes called Pegu jars, and under that name specimens were shown at the Great Exhibition of 1851. We have not been able to obtain recent information on the subject of this manufacture. The word appears to be now obsolete in India, except as a colloquial term in Telegu. [The word is certainly not obsolete in Upper India: “The martaban’ (Plate ii. fig. 10) is a small deep jar with an elongated body, which is used by Hindus and Muhammadans to keep pickles and acid articles” (Hallifax, Mono. of Punjab Pottery, p. 9). In the endeavour to supply a Hindi derivation it has been derived from imrita-ban, ‘the holder of the water of immortality.’ In the Arabian Nights the word appears in the form bartaman, and is used for a crock in which gold is buried. (Burton, xi. 26). Mr. Bell saw some large earthenware jars at Malé, some about 2 feet high, called rumba; others larger and barrel-shaped, called mataban. (Pyrard,

  By PanEris using Melati.

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